LEWISTON — There may be hope for the YWCA of Central Maine.

The Board of Directors is expected to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday at the YWCA to announce a possible way to save the 130-year-old facility.

The board announced last week that it would close due to financial problems. 

“Right now, we’re not at liberty (to disclose details), but it looks like a little light at the end of the tunnel,” board member Tonie Ramsey said Saturday. “We’re grasping every straw we possibly can. It’s going to mean a real effort for us, but we’re willing to give it another try.”

The YWCA  carries more than $700,000 in debt, which forced it to close, leaders said this week. Payments on the remaining $560,000 mortgage were too high. Bills to vendors were more than $150,000. Leaders said they planned to sell the East Avenue building and use the proceeds to pay off the mortgage and other debt.

The YWCA’s five-member Board of Directors made the decision to close on Monday. On Tuesday, Young and Executive Director Pam Gallant met with department heads to share the decision.

Together, they prepared to disclose the news with their remaining staff and the community. They took a few final, hopeful messages from possible benefactors. If a donor could pay off the debt, the executive director said, the facility could remain open.

That donor never materialized.

On Wednesday, Young announced the decision to the staff. After that, word of the closure spread through the community.

“It’s been amazing the people that have come in and are so upset and crying,” Ramsey said. “And the little kids. One little guy came in and said, ‘You aren’t really going to lock the doors, are you?’ It just breaks your heart.”

As a local institution, the YWCA  is older than the grand Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul or Longley Bridge. Some members have been regular users for more than 50 years.

Since 1972, when the current facility opened on East Avenue, it has boasted the only public, regulation-size swimming pool in the cities. Swim teams from Lewiston High School, Edward Little High School and St. Dominic Academy all use the pool. Generations of local young people learned to swim there. People with a variety of disabilities use the pool in specialized classes. And swimmers of all ages use the pool during its open swim times.

The YWCA ended its regular pool hours on Friday, with a few contractual pool hours extending into this week. The child care center was set to close on Sept. 3.

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